01/02/2013 10:30 EST | Updated 03/04/2013 05:12 EST

Polar bear swim in Vancouver draws thousands

Thousands of swimmers jumped into the waters of Vancouver’s English Bay yesterday for the annual polar bear swim.

The city is home to Canada's oldest polar bear swim, now in its 93rd year.

Helga Newton, 74, has been doing the polar bear swim for three decades.

“You just go in and it's lovely,” she said. “Your circulation goes right up … I wish all the seniors would come down.”

The weather held steady at about 7 C for swimmer in Vancouver.

Those doing the 15th annual polar bear dip in Smithers weren't so lucky — they had temperatures of –7 C.